Adam Faith (right) with the Roulettes
Today’s selection is one of those records that I had forever (probably picked it up in a big box of 45s) and ignored (at my own peril as it turns out). Ignored until one of my periodic reappraisal safaris into the crates, when I pulled it out and had my wig flipped.
Adam Faith is one of those British Invasion guys that I had kind of written off as a bland pretty boy, which is why I never expected something like ‘It’s Alright’.
The hotness of this 45 – which has a kind of deceptive opening – is due in large part to the presence of the backing band, that being the mighty Roulettes, the boys that brought you epic beat monsters like ‘Bad Time’ (which the Spectors used to kick the stuffing out of) and ‘The Long Cigarette’.
The Roulettes worked as Faith’s backing group for a number of years, while also recording their own stuff, and then some of them moving on to form Unit 4+2.
‘It’s Alright’ was released in 1964 and was a hit in the UK and the US, where Faith appeared on Shindig performing the song with the Isley Brothers and the Newbeats.
The tune opens with Faith crooning alongside a harmonica, before the whole thing busts open like one of the Dave Clark Five’s more raucous 45RPM riots.
It has that beat group push to it, but also lots of powerful undercurrent as well, with the bass, drums, guitars and backing vocals (and handclaps) sounding like a mob descending on the recording studio.
There’s a great guitar solo and the rhythm guitar is way up in the mix (which is cool).
It was Faith’s biggest US hit by far, as opposed to the UK where he was a presence in the Top 40 from 1959 to 1966.
A groovy record, and a lesson is giving everything a chance.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you next week.